Paul Weller: Paul Weller

After punking out with The Jam and going totally 80s with The Style Council, Paul Weller wasn’t confined by any of his prior work when setting out on a solo career with his self titled first LP.

But make no mistake, he wasn’t giving anything up in personal or musical style. This record has more of a soulful feel than previous group projects, and while some critics have overlooked this record, repeated plays over the years truly reveal the genius fully at work here.

Like every other Paul Weller record to follow, the S/T disc is awash in groove and texture. It’s a homogenous record that feels completely thought out from start to finish, without a single clunker to be found.

You can stream it (and see what you’re missing) on TIDAL here.

You can buy it on vinyl from our pals at Music Direct here.

 

This column is sponsored in part by Grand Prix Audio.
We use their Monaco 2.0 Turntable as a reference
component to spin most of the ROTD selections.

Kiss – Alive!

There’s something amazing about this record. In the mid 70s, rock concerts were getting pretty boring. 15 minute guitar solos, 15 minute drum solos, 15 minute fucking bass solos. A bunch of long haired dudes standing around noodling to infinity in a weed filled haze of mediocrity. In some parts of the world Alice Cooper had started to make the scene, along with Frank Zappa, but the former was campy in a Rocky Horror Picture Show kind of way and Zappa was technically proficient, but still seemed like he was leading a bunch of hippies that knew the cool joke and you didn’t.

When Kiss hit the stage, touring in support of this, their first live record (after a series of lackluster studio albums that almost sunk the band) crowds around the country, around the world took notice. These guys came out in gigantic leather heeled boots, looking like creatures from another planet, spitting fire and blood in the air, with a light show that demanded your attention. Were they incredible musicians? No. Were the lyrics deep and meaningful? Hell no.

But there was so much raw energy and sexuality at a KISS show in their early years, that you walked out of the concert hall drained and entertained. Rock would never be the same again. And this record captures the essence of that time better than anything. It’s still a favorite to this day, and a road trip essential. Firehouse, woo!

You can stream it (and see what you’re missing) on TIDAL here.

You can buy it on vinyl from our pals at Music Direct here.

 

 

This column is sponsored in part by Audio Research.
We use their REF Phono 3 phono stage as a reference
component to spin the record of the day. Every day.

The Rolling Stones – Blue and Lonesome

With all those records on the shelf, why buy more? But I do. So why not start the column with one of the most recent records purchased? I must admit that I’m neither a big blues fan nor even a big Stones fan, though I find myself warming up to their true genius the older I get.

However, I’m always willing to give a band one more chance and while the last couple of Rolling Stones records have been arguably weak, these guys are on fire with this record. Anyone who’s read even a few articles or seen more than one interview with the Stones, knows these guys love the blues – it really was the impetus for them forming the band over 50 years ago. So when I heard that they were doing an entire album of some of their favorite tunes, I had a hunch it would be exciting.

So give this one a spin, whether you like the Stones or not. The energy put forward on this record is infectious. Richards, Jagger and company play their asses off on this record, and in a Rolling Stone interview, rhythm guitarist Ronnie Wood said “his fingers were bleeding, seriously” from playing on this record. The respect paid to the genre is outstanding.

From a sound quality standpoint, the actual 2 record LP set isn’t fantastic, so if you don’t have to have this one on vinyl, you won’t regret streaming it. The sound is strictly average, so I suggest only those that have to touch and feel the record shell out for the physical media.

You can stream the album on TIDAL here.

And should you want the album, you can purchase it from our pals at Music Direct here.

An Introduction: Why this column?

Hi there. I’m Jeff Dorgay, founder of this site, and TONEAudio Magazine. Though I’ve been writing about hifi for about 15 years now, I’ve been an audio enthusiast and record collector since I was about 14. The first record I bought back in 1974 was Edgar Winter’s They Only Come Out At Night. 

Honestly, I can’t remember the second record I bought, but from that moment I was hooked and have been buying records ever since. The question that wives, girlfriends and friends have always asked is “Are you ever going to listen to all of those records?” The answer is yes, kind of. I cut my collection down from about 7,500 LP’s to about 2,500 last year, because there were a number of albums that I wasn’t listening to in any regular order and decided that after cataloging them, most were available on Tidal.

So, doing the Zen thing, I wanted to pass that vinyl on to a generation that would make more use of said records than I was. And after all, 7,500 records take up a lot of space! But I know in the grand scheme of things, even 7,500 albums is a pittance compared to some of the collections I’ve seen. Nonetheless, I keep buying more, but with the advent of Tidal, it’s not like back in the 70s and 80s where you came home from the record store with ten albums and five of them sucked. Though I buy less vinyl than I used to, they are almost all keepers these days. With the current price of records, this is truly a good thing.

But back to my quest. After hearing people ask me the same damn question for decades, I AM going to listen to them all. Fortunately with my job, being what it is, I’m listening to records all the time anyway, so I am now going to make it a point to listen to an album in my collection from start to finish at least a few times per week, and eventually get to one a day. We’ll start with a written column, but I hope this will go to video sooner rather than later.

This will not be a record review column. We do that over at TONEAudio, and you can click on this link to get you there. It is merely a journal of a man on a mission, so that years from now when someone asks me if I’ve listened to “all of those records” I can say “yes I have.” So, won’t you join me? There might be a few you don’t know about or would like to comment on. I’ll do my best to give you a TIDAL link to stream in the event that this is a new discovery.

Thank you for tuning in,